Day 44: Secret Menu Item 3!

I know, we forgot about building the secret menu. I’ll try to make it up to you with this crazy healthy, delicious hack!

I know how much everybody loves Olive Garden breadsticks. I’m the same way. What we don’t all love is how halfway through a fresh stick you end up with a tongue full of salt and this quickening in your chest that probably isn’t caused by the excitement of eating at your favorite restaurant.

So, if you want to enjoy your bread and eat it, too, here’s a simple secret you can try.

Step 1: order drinks (just water for me, thanks)

Step 2: when the waiter starts to leave, make this hurried sound like you just remembered some other thing you wanted, so he doesn’t think you’ve been planning to screw up their system or anything (oh, I’m sorry, would it be possible to get the breadsticks plain? Without the topping?)

Step 3: after the waiter nods, and says, sure, you cut off anything else he wants to say to dissuade you from throwing a wrench into the kitchen’s gears (we don’t mind waiting!)

Step 4: clearly he doesn’t mind waiting either if he’s still working here. As he goes off to complain about you to the chefs, you can relax and count how many more breadsticks you can eat without the topping on it.

The fact of the matter is, when these babies are fresh, they’re great. And even if they’re not painted over with a salt-and-grease wash, they’re actually quite good. Especially if you dip them into your sauces, in particular the Alfredo sauces.

Now, this isn’t a health tip unless you want to pretend it is. But I’d rather eat my salt and oil with flavor, rather than just heaped on top of other salt and oil. Call me uncultured.

Also, since they go to all the trouble to bake you up some clean bread, the waiter will usually bring you out a bigger basket of them than you’d get with a normal round. So even though refilling that basket might take a while, you likely won’t need to.

Anyway, if you forget these tips, just tell yourself this:

Use your head: wipe the bread.

Item 1: linguine, meat sauce, grilled chicken

Breadsticks: 2

Weight: 168

Wait: “Oh, I don’t mind, thanks so much!”